By Alan Fram and Mary Clare Jalonick / Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The House prepared Wednesday to easily derail a maverick Democrat’s drive to impeach President Donald Trump, an effort that party leaders consider a premature exercise that needlessly forces vulnerable swing-district lawmakers to cast a perilous and divisive vote.
The resolution by Texas Rep. Al Green, which cites Trump’s “racist” comments imploring Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their native countries, had no chance of prevailing. A vote was expected as early as Wednesday.
But even facing certain defeat, the vote risked deepening the already raw rift between liberal Democrats itching to oust Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders. Top Democrats prefer waiting to see if a stronger case for removal can be developed that would win broader public support, and they’re eagerly awaiting next week’s scheduled testimony to two House committees by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“I think we’ll get rid of all this right now,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters of Green’s proposal.
Recent polling has shown majorities oppose impeachment. Even if the House voted to impeach Trump, which would amount to filing formal charges, the Republican-run Senate would be unlikely to remove him from office.
Pelosi noted that six House committees are conducting investigations of Trump and said, “That is the serious path we’re on.”
The showdown over Green’s resolution also comes amid tensions between Pelosi and the same four progressive Democratic women who Trump targeted.
They’ve accused party leaders of not battling hard enough to curb Trump administration moves against migrants, and she in turn pointed out that the four have little support in Congress. The four have all been outspoken advocates of impeaching Trump.